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Motherhood 'devastates' women's earnings - well, obviously!

(96 Posts)
neenztwinz Fri 17-Jul-09 17:53:43

I know it's not fair and it's not equal opportunities that men can have babies and not be affected in the workplace whereas women are affected enormously, but isn't this just obvious and something we should accept when we decide to have children?

If you don't want your earnings affected by having kids, don't have them, or get your partner to stop working to look after your kids while you go back to work. Then your wages won't be affected. But you have to accept, surely, that when you have kids you will not be able to earn as much as before?

The article doesn't acknowledge that lots of women don't want to earn as much or work as much after they have kids. It says something should be done to redress the balance so that women can earn as much as men after having kids. But the govt should be making it more attractive for women to stay at home and look after their own kids, if that is what they want, rather than thinking of ways to push us all back to work and become as 'successful' as men.

neenztwinz Fri 17-Jul-09 17:54:21


oops, sorry!

monkeytrousers Fri 17-Jul-09 20:09:28

I think there is a lot of reassessment to be had in this area.

It was very different when women couldn't work but women aren't in the bondage anymore.

It might help if mothers and fathers weren't pitted agianst one another, but that is the 'feminist' approach. More focus on enabling familes to make the choices that suit them would be more helpful to my mind. Whoever stays at home, the family takes a substantial pay cut. And those stresses make it harder to stay together.

Equal rights for either one to take maternity/paternity leave would help. And women not being discriminated against in pension payments for the time they raise kids.

I agree on the pushing women to be more like men is wrong. Its like we have escaped one form of prescription only to be forced into another.

MaggieBeBold Fri 17-Jul-09 20:13:47

Yupp. My x expected me to incurr every single sacrifice for parenthood myself. He carried on going up the career ladder. He still can't understand why I left him.

random Fri 17-Jul-09 20:18:54

I read that as womens earrings....<adjusts glasses>

Sorry you were grin

DarrellRivers Fri 17-Jul-09 20:20:17

Random, I had read similar

MaryMotherOfCheeses Fri 17-Jul-09 20:24:40

"But you have to accept, surely, that when you have kids you will not be able to earn as much as before?"



spicemonster Fri 17-Jul-09 20:26:27

No, it isn't something we should just accept. I took a total of 7 months off work when I had my DS. And yet my career has tanked. I work full time, I want my career to carry on as it was before I had him. Why should I accept that?

Please explain.

You are basically saying we should all want to stay at home with our children once we've given birth. You're not acknowledging that a lot of us are still ambitious and don't want to sit at home or earn pin money once we've had children.

fruitstick Fri 17-Jul-09 20:49:37

'lots of women don't want to earn as much or work as much after they have kids'

No that's not true. Lots of women wish to work less hours and are therefore prepared (or forced) to earn less money. However nobody actively WANTS to earn less.

I wholly agree that it is only when we move to a culture which embraces 'family' rights will we get anything like an even chance. For example, I went back to work 3 days a week after DS1 but would have loved DH to cut down to 4 days as well, and maybe done 4 each.

Similarly, my employer had to accept that I had to leave on the dot every night to do the nursery pick up, and that I couldn't come in if DS was sick, but hat kind of thing is not tolerated by DHs employer and he is in a culture where a man looking after his children is seen as slacking.

It is widely seen as a perk to be able to work part time or with flexible hours. The fact that you can request it once you have been in a job for a certain amount of time means that essentially your employer has got you over a barrel. Once you have been given a part time role it is very difficult to get another one at another company and employers don't offer the same pay rises/progression as they don't see that they need to; after all, you are unlikely to get a better offer elsewhere.

Senior positions are seldom tolerated part time which is why women's wages are so much lower. Just because I work 3/5 of the time I used to does not make me 2/5 less intelligent, experienced or competent but apparently lots of people think it does.

Hopefully, the recession will put an end to such attitudes in the workplace and people will look for more creative ways to get work done in less time (and for less money). However I fear it could have the opposite effect as men are favoured over women for being more committed in such economic hardship.

violethill Fri 17-Jul-09 21:11:58

But at the end of the day, if you choose to work fewer hours, you're going to earn less than if you worked more aren't you?

No one is forced to work fewer hours once they become a parent. But if you choose to, surely it's logical that you're going to earn proportionately less.

monkeytrousers Fri 17-Jul-09 21:23:38

"You are basically saying we should all want to stay at home with our children once we've given birth."

For me that's preciely not what I'm saying. I'm saying women give birth and on average choose to be primary carer for the first year. They should not be discriminated because of that choice. But neither should they be pushed away from that choice if it is what they want. There is massive middle ground in this debate that is missed in simply making it a men vs women argument.

monkeytrousers Fri 17-Jul-09 21:26:10

"'lots of women don't want to earn as much or work as much after they have kids'"

Actually, this is one of the things that are bared out by stats.

It is a palpably unrealistsic expection to want to work less hours and not be payed less. If men took the role of primary carer, they would expereince this. This does not equate to 'oppression'.

monkeytrousers Fri 17-Jul-09 21:26:54

Sorry, Violet, hadn't seen your post - but yes, I agree.

ssd Fri 17-Jul-09 21:27:15

since having kids I work less so I earn less

whats not to understand?

NorbertDentressangle Fri 17-Jul-09 21:30:48

random -I read it as earrings too blush ....<adjusts (wine) glasses>

spicemonster Fri 17-Jul-09 21:32:25

That's not what you said MT. But it's what the OP said!

"Lots of women don't want to work as much after they have had kids". That's true. But some of us want to carry on with our careers in the same way as we did before. But we are still discriminated against. That is discrimination. And I don't think anyone used the word oppression except for you.

stillstanding Fri 17-Jul-09 21:34:46

I can't bear threads like this. Mainly because they are so full of ignorance and prejudice. Particularly by women themselves. I mean, fgs, if we can't understand the issue how on earth are men supposed to?

No one expects to be paid the same for less hours but (in a fair, unbiased world) they do expect to be paid the same salary for the same hours. Get it? Proportionately fair pay.

Get me to Sweden asap.

sunburntats Fri 17-Jul-09 21:34:52

The thing that pisses me off is becuase i had mat leave, because since returning to work pt i have had to contribute less to my pension.
So when it comes to it, i will get less pension than dh...we both chose to have a child, but i will financially suffer for it.

That is unfair is it not?

skidoodle Fri 17-Jul-09 21:36:04

Um perhaps there's more to this issue than just your personal situation? Might that be possible? Hmmm?

Are all women who cut their hours simpletons or is it just this thread?

foxinsocks Fri 17-Jul-09 21:38:02

but sunburn, are you not contributing a proportion of your income? (so paying 3% or whatever?) and now just because you earn less, you're paying in less

violethill Fri 17-Jul-09 21:42:22

Exactly fox!
Do some people seriously expect to cut their house and not earn proportionately less and pay proportionately into their pension? How odd!

violethill Fri 17-Jul-09 21:43:46

Cut their house??? How much have I drunk?!


skidoodle Fri 17-Jul-09 22:02:08

Nobody expects to get paid for hours they don't work.

Should women just accept that once they've had children their progression will halt, they will not receive payrises in line with male or childless colleagues, they will be offered reduced or flexible hours but only at a far more junior level than they had attained? That when they do want to increase their hours they are considered to be on the scrapheap? That even if they continue to work full time they are sidelined and not taken seriously?

That is the reality for many working mothers.

Is that really ok with you because "I work less, so I get paid less"?

If women are missing significant time from work for (economically essential) caring duties, why shouldn't they have the option if topping up their pension? Why shouldn't anyone for that matter?

ChasingSquirrels Fri 17-Jul-09 22:04:21

I don't get the pension point - obviously you have to have the funds to put into it in the first place, but in the majority of cases you could still put money into it if you have it.

And who would want to atm!

foxinsocks Fri 17-Jul-09 22:05:24

anyone can top up their pension whenever they like

doesn't mean the employer will match the top up but you can top it up (as an employee) whenever you want

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